Blow by Blow

March 15, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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A bitter debate erupted in the NSW Parliament following remarks made by Labor Councillor Shaoquett Moselmane who called Gaza “an open air”prison camp and said that Israel’s plan was “to expand the borders of the Jewish colonial state”.

The debate was on the recent trip to Israel by a group of NSW politicians organised by the The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies.

The following is the blow by blow account of what transpired…

Shaoquett Moselmane

Shaoquett Moselmane

The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE [10.48 a.m.]: All people have a right to a homeland—all people, including Jews, Kurds, Armenians and Palestinians. All people have a right to exist and receive the protections under international law and live in peace and security. Since the 1948 United Nations resolution to divide Palestine between the Jews and Arabs, the Palestinian people have been left to suffer the indignity and trauma of people dispossessed. I am not surprised that there is no mention in the motion of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian land, the Palestinian suffering, the Palestinian rights as people deprived of their land, persecuted, imprisoned, killed, traumatised and dehumanised.
I wonder whether the members on their study mission considered the Palestinian people; I wonder whether the human rights of the Palestinian people crossed their minds. I hope it did cross their minds and that they pondered a little about the human rights of others now being dispossessed of their land, their dreams, their aspirations and their future as a people.

Ever since 1948 the Israeli Zionist plan has been acquiring territory to expand the borders of the Jewish colonial state. Zionist ideology demanded—

The Hon. Walt Secord: Point of order:My point of order is on relevance. The member is not speaking to the motion and as the Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel I disassociate myself from his remarks.

The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps: To the point of order: This is a fairly broad-ranging motion. While the member’s speech is not directly relevant to the wording of the motion, it would be unfair if the member were not allowed to continue to speak, considering the breadth of topic that has been debated in relation to this motion.

DEPUTY-PRESIDENT (The Hon. Paul Green): Order! The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane may resume his speech. He is within the latitude of the general purpose of the motion.

The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE: After the United Nations allocated 56 per cent of the Palestinian territory to a Jewish State, 80 per cent was seized by force. Christians and Muslims made up two-thirds of the population. Jews, who owned only 6 per cent of the land, have now taken 85 per cent of the former Palestine land. The 800,000 who were initially dispossessed, expelled from their land—now five million—live in diaspora. There was nothing fair or legitimate about the United Nations’ offer. It was carried out over the objections of the majority, but even this corruption of justice was not enough to satisfy the craving to take over people’s land.

Arab voices were ignored. Not a single Arab was consulted on the plan. Now five million Palestinians are scattered across the globe and those still living in their homeland are living in two non-contiguous territories—Gaza and the West Bank—which makes up less than 20 per cent of the territory they originally had after 1967. I believe it is more like 14 per cent of the former Palestine that they now live in.

Members will see from this plan the former Palestine territory and the land that Palestinians now own, just spots of land scattered all over.

The Hon. Walt Secord: Point of order: The member is using props. The use of props is out of order.

DEPUTY-PRESIDENT (The Hon. Paul Green): Order! The member would be well aware that the protocol of the House is that members should not use props to support their arguments.

The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE: The Palestinians’ right to return to their homeland is a fundamental right of all people. It is a fundamental right that is at the heart of the Palestinian struggle. This must be addressed and resolved fairly. In all the speeches made in the House today, we have not heard about the Israeli assaults on Arab territories in 1956, 1967, 1982, 2006 and 2009.

In the 2009 assault on Gaza 1,000 residents were killed, over 300 of them children, and 5,000 were wounded. As was described by a member earlier today, Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison camp, containing 1.5 million people in a very small parcel of land. The Israeli assault continues on Gaza. According to the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, some 90,000 Gazans were forced to flee their homes. Residents of Gaza city and to the north had no water and no electricity; they were trapped, traumatised and terrorised. Nothing was said in this debate about the rights of those Palestinians, who were effectively murdered by this military machine. They did not have hospitals. The Israeli military machine effectively erased government buildings, apartment buildings and mosques, and it struck United Nations schools, as well as the compound of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, ambulances and hospitals.

Their actions can be seen as violation of international humanitarian law. 

The International Committee of the Red Cross accused Israel of breaches of humanitarian conventions for failing to bring assistance to wounded and starving civilians and preventing ambulance access for four days. B’Tselem, Physicians for Human Rights and other Israeli human rights groups have described civilians being fired on in doorways by Israeli soldiers, attacks on ambulance crews and aid workers, and schools being used as civilian refuges. The Human Rights Watch accused Israel of using white phosphorous munitions over densely populated areas of Gaza in violation of international humanitarian law. The United Nations Human Rights Council has condemned the Israeli offensive for “massive violations of human rights”. Amnesty International says that Israeli shelling of residential areas is “prima facie evidence of war crimes”. The organisation has also accused Israeli soldiers of using Palestinians as human shields:

It’s standard practice for Israeli soldiers to go into a house, lock up the family in a room on the ground floor and use the rest of the house as a military base.

Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories and Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, says that Israel is in breach of the United Nations Charter, the Geneva conventions, international law and international humanitarian law. Falk says: ‘If there were the political will there could be an ad hoc tribunal established to hear allegations of war crimes. This could be done by the general assembly acting under article 22 of the UN charter which gives them the authority to establish subsidiary bodies.’

But they did not do so. A Human Rights Watch investigation found that Israel had repeatedly and indiscriminately fired white phosphorus over crowded areas of Gaza, killing and injuring civilians—

The Hon. Walt Secord: Point of order: My point of order relates to relevance. I remind the honourable member that the motion states:
That this House notes that: 

(a) The NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel under the auspices of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies hosted a delegation of New South Wales Parliamentarians on a study mission to Israel from 6 January 2013 to 10 January 2013—

The Hon. Lynda Voltz: You cannot read the whole motion.

The Hon. Walt Secord: I am just reminding the member of the motion.

The Hon. Lynda Voltz: Get to your point of order.

The Hon. Walt Secord: It was relevance.

The Hon. Lynda Voltz: Relevance has already been raised.

The Hon. Walt Secord: This speech is simply an anti-Israel rant.

The Hon. Lynda Voltz: You are trying to stop democratic debate in the Chamber.

The Hon. Walt Secord: This is simply an anti-Israel rant and he is not speaking to the motion.

The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE: That is rubbish, and you know that.

DEPUTY-PRESIDENT (The Hon. Paul Green): Order! The Hon. Walt Secord is correct. Members have the motion in front of them, or have access to the motion. While I have been generous in general about speeches, the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane needs to stay within the purview of the motion and not give a lengthy history.

The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE: If ever there were a group in need of protection from war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing it is the Palestinians, and yet the Palestinians receive little outside help.

The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps: They received billions from the UN.

The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE: In 1982 Israel invaded Lebanon.

The Hon. Dr Peter Phelps: Billions.

The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE: Deputy-President, I did not interrupt other speakers. I let them make their speeches without interruption. Previous speakers had the opportunity to speak without interruption and I ask that the same courtesy to be shown to me. I have only four minutes left to speak. I have the right to inject some balance into this debate. I am glad that I am a member of this House and have the opportunity to speak and inject balance and humanity into this debate. I have that right and I have four minutes to do so.

The Hon. Matthew Mason-Cox: Point of order: Could the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane retire while I take my point of order?

Walt Secord

Walt Secord

DEPUTY-PRESIDENT (The Hon. Paul Green):Order! The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane will retire to his seat while a point of order is taken, as per the protocols of the House.

The Hon. Matthew Mason-Cox: I have listened with tolerance to the member. I take a point of order based on relevance. This is a motion about a study mission to Israel and members have noted the facts in relation to that study mission. The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane did not even go on the study mission. He is having a little rant about personal issues. The motion is about a study mission to Israel, nothing more, nothing less. The House has been more than tolerant in listening to some of the garbage that he has been talking about. 

The Hon. Trevor Khan: To the point of order. Whilst I agree with the Hon. Matthew Mason-Cox with regard to the words of the motion, speakers have raised a very broad range of matters. It is my argument that having allowed broad discretion in the debate so far and, to be frank, having allowed a scab to be picked, the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane is entitled to have his say. He has only a few minutes left in which to speak.

DEPUTY-PRESIDENT (The Hon. Paul Green): Order! I ask the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane to address his remarks to the motion. Mr David Shoebridge was given an opportunity to speak on a range of matters and I will extend the same latitude to the Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane.

The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE: As I stated, all people have a right to a peaceful existence and so do the Palestinian people. I want this House to know that and I want that comment to be recorded. They as well as the Jewish people have a right to peaceful existence and to a homeland. We have heard comments about how peaceful and democratic the Israeli Government is. I remind the House that in 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon and then occupied Lebanon for 18 years they imprisoned people. People in southern Lebanon were tortured. I visited the camps and I saw the prisons. I invite members to go to these torture camps that the Israelis set up in southern Lebanon and see for themselves. They occupied Lebanon for 18 years. I resent members here accusing the resistance of being terrorist groups. I salute the resistance.

If the resistance in Lebanon had not forced the Israelis out of Lebanon I would not have been able to go to my grandparents’ home in southern Lebanon and visit the land I was born in. I salute them for their resistance. It is the right of people to do so. Imagine what the response would have been in 1941 or 1942 if we had condemned resistance against Nazi Germany. Guns would have been blazing at us for not resisting Nazi Germany. In Lebanon the resistance was able to force the Israelis out. In 2006, towards the end of the Israeli war on Lebanon, they dumped three million cluster bombs in little southern Lebanon. Those three million bombs are buried in the ground. A child walking on the ground will be blown up or lose a limb. An animal walking around will die. Three million cluster bombs will exist for hundreds of years and people will continue to suffer. In conclusion— [Time expired.]

Vic Alhadeff

Vic Alhadeff

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff, who was in the gallery for the three-hour duration of the debate, tweeted that some of the remarks were “outrageous slurs”, but it was “reassuring to see some MPs standing on principle”. He specifically cited the Labor Party’s Walt Secord, deputy chair of NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel, who, in an unprecedented move, called three points of order against a fellow party member; and Liberal Party whip Peter Phelps.

Alhadeff said: “While it was very disappointing to hear such extreme and baseless comments in the Parliament, they came from a marginal group and were quickly and appropriately condemned by both Labor and Liberal MPs,” Alhadeff said.

NSW Labor frontbencher and NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair, Mr Walt Secord told J-Wire: “Everyone knows that I am a life-long supporter of Israel and the Jewish community. And I completely disagree from the statements. I took the unusual step of doing so publicly in the NSW Parliament. I completely dissociated myself from the views. I make no apologies for taking a stand.”

State Liberal member for Vaucluse, Gabrielle Upton, added: “As a Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly and Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Israel I strongly condemn the highly offensive statements made about Israel in the Legislative Council on Thursday 14 March. I commend the Legislative Council members who took a stand, railing against those statements.”

Jeremy Jones AM, AIJAC’s Director of Community Affairs, told J-Wire: “When a member of an Australian parliament crossed the line from vigorous criticism of Israel to what the European Union Agency for  Fundamental Rights describes as antisemitic discourse – making a direct analogy between Israel and Nazi Germany – it would have been hoped the entire Parliament would have been outraged”

“Walt Secord can hold his head high. Further, those who have criticised Mr Secord due to being blinded by their hatred for Israel, or obsessed with misguided party solidarity – even when that dictates defending bigotry –  will deservedly  earn contempt of all genuine antiracists.”



24 Responses to “Blow by Blow”
  1. Jade says:

    There’s a difference between being against the actions and policy of the Israeli state, and being antisemitic.

    There are plenty of jews in Australia and Israel who do not believe what is happening to the Palestinians is right, reasonable or fair. You wouldn’t be calling them ‘antisemitic’.

    • Shirlee says:

      Oh yes I do Jade

    • robert says:

      You want antisemitic?
      Straight from the official PA Mufti at an official “moderate, peace partner” PA function and this is nothing compared to what Hamas media does or its official Hamas charter.

      PA Mufti calls for the killing of Jews quoting Islamic Hadith
      Moderator at Fatah ceremony:
      “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews)
      is a war of religion and faith.
      Long Live Fatah! [I invite you,] our honorable Sheikh.”

      PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein comes to the podium and says:
      “47 years ago the [Fatah] revolution started. Which revolution? The modern revolution of the Palestinian people’s history. In fact, Palestine in its entirety is a revolution, since [Caliph] Umar came [to conquer Jerusalem, 637 CE], and continuing today, and until the End of Days. The reliable Hadith (tradition attributed to Muhammad), [found] in the two reliable collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says:
      “The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews.
      The Jew will hide behind stones or trees.
      Then the stones or trees will call:
      ‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’
      Except the Gharqad tree [which will keep silent].”
      Therefore it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees]
      surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies..”
      Palestinian TV (Fatah) Jan. 9, 2012 (1 min)

      Sound like “moderate peace partners” to you?

  2. Shirlee says:

    Paul, Naomi, do what I did and write to him. It was a huge letter and I corrected him as much as I could by mail.

    Maybe I should have given him Brigitte Gabriel’s contact details.

  3. Liat Nagar says:

    A J Neems, Many Jews do love debate (although what people are led to believe about Jews is usually used against them, which could be the case here?), however this is not debate … Shaoquettt Moselmane seized an opportunity to deliver a diatribe full of invective and falsity, straying so far from the motion and subject matter that it should not have been allowed.

  4. Abdallah says:

    Facepalm Paul facepalm, clearly Shaoquett started his speech by saying ” All people have a right to a homeland—all people, including Jews, Kurds, Armenians and Palestinians. ” The member equated jews with Palestinians, not attacking but redistributing the motion to mention Palestinians.

    To your point of Aboriginal rights, I do not think there is a single Australian who deep down doesn’t believe that we wronged them and that was the whole point of the Rudd apology. That is what a great political party does, stands up when its difficult to voice opposition.

    • robert says:

      Why not tell Hamas the elected govt of Palestine?
      Their policy is that of genocide and Islamic Republic of Palestine from the river to the sea

  5. Annie says:

    Funny how speaking the truth is now a lie. Absurd and down right hypocrital if you ask me!! No need to do research to see the truth as its in picture. While mainstream media reports their lies they know that they must lie or lose their job. Not only will I spread this but this disghust in the parliament that clearing was bias shows that our government is far from the free speech it reeps. Honorable Shoaquette will surely have my vote as he meerly speaks the truth the Jewish community can’t handle. Pffftttt

    • robert says:

      The truth is if the Arabs only wanted their own state they could have had it 65 years ago.
      The truth is the Arabs got the the vast majority of the mandate up front which the Hon. Member fails to mention and lies by omission
      The truth is both the PA & Hamas incite against peace and borders and tell their people they will get it all
      The truth is Abbas walked out on Olmert and Arafat walked out on the Clinton parameters.
      The truth is the Arabs declared No Peace No Negotiations No Recognition.
      The truth is Abbas has no support for peace in his constituents

  6. A J Neems says:

    When you can’t even fish in your own waters for fear of being shot nor jump the fence on the other side of Gaza with out the same fear how could you not call it a prison! I always was lead to believe that Jews encouraged and loved debate and decenting opinion can’t be true these days but then I’m just a Goy what would I know!

    • Shirlee says:

      Well if you are “just a goy” A J Neems, as you crudely put it, a derogatory word which has not been in use for many years, I suggest you do some research into the prison you call Gaza.

      In prisons they don’t have 5 star hotels

      They don’t have night clubs

      They don’t have universities
      University of Palestine
      Al-Aqsa University
      University College of Applied Sciences
      Al-Azhar University – Gaza
      Al-Quds Open University
      Islamic University of Gaza
      Universal Studies Academy
      Palestine Technical College
      Islamic University of Gaza

      They don’t have horse riding schools, they don’t have Olympic swimming pools.

      Last week Hamas stopped the import of cars, as, wait for it there are too many and the roads are crowded.

      • geoffff says:

        Oh and your stuff about not being able to fish without fear of being shot? Pure propaganda. The 2556 mortars, rockets and missiles fired from Gaza at the civilian population of Israel last year, however?

        Not propaganda. Truth. Some prison where the inmates can shell the neighbours.

        Doesn’t enter into your calculations though.

    • robert says:

      Your brothers can go through Egypt
      They also fish and have fish restaurants
      While you lie

    • robert says:

      You are giving your Arabist narrative on a Jewish website .
      What do you call that ?

    • geoffff says:

      Take a look at a map of Gaza AJ Neems.

      You see that straight line at the south with a spot named Rafah Crossing in about the middle?.

      We in the trade call that the Egyptian border. Shall we say that together?

      If Gaza is a prison then one side is being guarded by Hamas’s Muslim Brotherhood allies in Cairo. Why do you only mention the Israeli borders? Why not Egypt? Could it be that it is Israel that supplies Gaza with food, water, power, medicines ,,,? But Egypt does not? Only contraband that has to smuggled through tunnels? You tell me. You’re the one with the qualification.. What would I know.

  7. Paul Winter says:

    Walt Secord is to be congratulated. But where is the parliamentary condemnation of Moselmane’s antisemitism and historical revisionism? How can such a person be allowed to remain a member of a reputable Australian political party? Had any person made such a vile attack on mohammedans or Aborigines, that person would have earned universal condemnation and the media would have had a field day denouncing such a person. But Moselmane was only attacking, the nation state of the Jewish people – and Jews indirectly – so its OK.

    • Hassan says:

      I am sick and tired of people using the cliches of anti semitism everytime one is critical of Israel’s policies. Israel is not the Jewish people and nor is it the Judaism religion and if it makes political mistakes, and it does plenty every day, then its sympathisers should jump of ahead of others to tell her that it is going in the wrong direction. Why Israel should be the only state beyond reproach and way above accountability, Enough is enough.

      • robert says:

        That is just not true there is plenty of self criticism in Israel within and without and it is argued on its merits
        When you ONLY criticise Israel,that is a different story
        When are you people going to start looking in the mirror,allowing free speech and an independent judiciary?

      • Jill says:

        You don’t get to decide the definition of Judaism, the connection of Judaism and Zionism and anything to do with Israel, ancient or modern.
        Israel Zionism and Judaism are intertwined for eternity, they are the heart and soul of the identity of the Jewish people, from the beginning andf gforever.

        Enough is enough – of youyr anti Senmitisnm, of your reinvention of history – otherwise known as lying an taqqiya -for Islamic purposes and for your genocidal bigotry towards Jews and Israel.

        Go spit on your own ideology, whchha s murdered millions of people and damgaed millions more.

  8. Naomi says:

    The Hon Shaoquertte Moselmane is clueless.

    His speech is full of lies and falsehoods.

    • robert says:

      He forgot to mention the genocidal Hamas Charter,their “no peace ever”, their aim for an “Islamic Republic of Palestine from the river to the sea”,the thousands of missiles from Gaza at Israeli civilians, the suicide bombers, their incitement against peace and their racist lies.
      They never mention that the Arabs got the vast majority of the mandate before partition and it was the Arabs that insisted on no recognised borders

      • Jill says:

        He didn’t “forget” anything. He deliberately inititiated an antiSemitic defamatory diatribe that every single Parliamentaris should have decried.

        He should be expelled from Parliament and his seat reopened.

    • ben E says:

      Moselmanne spoke the truth and that is what has angered the Zionists so much. They come out with the worn out smear, slander and abuse but do not have the intellectual or moral courage to openly and honestly debate the statements of Moselmanne.

      • robert says:

        You have not bothered to read the rebuttals here of the Hon member and his claims have you?
        “Zionist” or” Hasbara”is not an argument except for the factually destitute.

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